93rd Academy Award Predictions Vs Winners

After a long, strange year and a mostly-virtual award season, 2020 in film is about to officially come to a close.

While 2020 obviously wasn’t a great year, there were still some great films made by several talented artists.

In the end, I got 17 right and six wrong in my predictions.

Best Picture

  • “The Father.”
  • “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
  • “Mank.”
  • “Minari.”
  • “Nomadland.”
  • “Promising Young Woman.”
  • “Sound of Metal.”
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Who Will Win: Right now all indicators are pointing toward “Nomadland.” Its won the Best Picture award so far from the Gotham Awards, Golden Globes, several critics groups, the Producers Guild of America, the BAFTA and Film Independent’s Spirit Awards. It’s in prime position to win.

Courtesy Searchlight Pictures.

Who could win: It would certainly be a shocker if “Nomadland” didn’t win. If there was any other movie to win, though, I could see “Promising Young Woman” taking it.

Who should win: “Nomadland” was my No. 1 movie of 2020 and my pick for Best Picture with the Minnesota Film Critics Alliance. In all fairness, I was a fan of all the movies nominated, by I am on board with “Nomadland” taking it.

Snubbed: “One Night in Miami” absolutely should have been nominated for Best Picture and it’s a shame it didn’t.

RIGHT: “Nomadland” completed its great award season run with a win.

Best Director

  • Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round.”
  • David Fincher, “Mank.”
  • Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari.”
  • Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
  • Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman.”

Who Will Win: Zhao is a lock for this one. She’s picked up most of the directing awards this season, including the main one from the Director’s Guild of America. I don’t see her losing on Sunday.

Who Could Win: I don’t see any monumental upset happening. However, if “Promising Young Women” ends up having an amazing night, it is possible Fennell could win, but not probable.

Who Should Win: It was a stacked field but I would have been happy to see Charlie Kaufman getting recognized for “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.”

RIGHT: Zhao won the award.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal.”
  • Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
  • Anthony Hopkins, “The Father.”
  • Gary Oldman, “Mank.”
  • Steven Yeun, “Minari.”

Who Will Win: While Anthony Hopkins picked up a win with the BAFTA in this category and Riz Ahmed was recently honored with the Spirit Award, I still think Chadwick Boseman is in line for this category. His performance has been honored numerous times this season and I think that will continue Sunday.

Who Could Win: There’s still a chance it doesn’t go to Boseman and in that scenario I could see Hopkins picking up the win.

Who Should Win: My favorite performance of the year was from Hopkins who did amazing work portraying dementia in “The Father.” I feel he deserves the award this year.

WRONG: Anthony Hopkins won the award for Best Actor

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
  • Andra Day, “The United States v. Billie Holiday.”
  • Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman.”
  • Frances McDormand, “Nomadland.”
  • Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman.”

Who Will Win: This is by far the biggest toss-up of the night, with each nominee earning plenty of accolades throughout the season. I do think that Mulligan will pull forward for a victory, but this is close.

Who Could Win: There are many possibilities here. To narrow it down, though, if Mulligan doesn’t win, it will be either Davis or McDormand.

Who Should Win: I think Mulligan gave the best performance of the year for sure. She was incredible in the film.

Snubbed: Speaking for the season as a whole, I’m disappointed Aubrey Plaza didn’t get some recognition for her work in “Black Bear.” Yes, I know it was a long shot.

WRONG: McDormand won the award Sunday night. 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
  • Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
  • Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami.”
  • Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal.”
  • Lakeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

Who Will Win: Daniel Kaluuya is on fire right now in this category and I see him going all the way to Oscar gold. He’s very likely going to win the award.

Courtesy Warner Bros.

Who Could Win: If not Kaluuya, I think there’s a small chance Paul Raci could win it, but it’s very small.

Who Should Win: Kaluuya was brilliant in “Judas and the Black Messiah” and I think he’s well deserving. I also very much enjoyed Leslie Odom Jr. in “One Night in Miami,” though.

Snubbed: I find Lakeith Stanfield to be more of a lead in “Judas” so his placement here I felt was wrong. Instead, I would have like to see Eli Goree in the spot. He was amazing at bringing the champ Cassius Clay to life on the screen.

RIGHT: Kaluuya won the award.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”
  • Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy.”
  • Olivia Colman, “The Father.”
  • Amanda Seyfried, “Mank.”
  • Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari.”

Who Will Win: Yuh-Jung Youn has picked up momentum this award season for her work in “Minari” and it’s safe to say she’s the front-runner. At this point, it would be a shock if she didn’t win the award.

Who Could Win: There’s still an outside shot Maria Bakalova of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” winning, but it’s not likely.

Who Should Win: I’m very supportive of Youn and want her to win. Although, I’d like to say I also thought Colman was great in “The Father.”

RIGHT: Youn came out on top in this category.

Best Animated Feature Film

  • “Onward.”
  • “Over the Moon.”
  • “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.”
  • “Soul.”
  • “Wolfwalkers.”

Who Will Win: Right now it looks like Pixar is headed toward another Oscar win with “Soul.”

Who Could Win: While it’s slim, there’s a chance “Wolfwalkers” could pull the upset.

Who Should Win: I was definitely in the minority on this one, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of “Soul.” “Wolfwalkers” all the way.

RIGHT: “Soul” won the  Oscar.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern. Story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, and Nina Pedrad.
  • “The Father,” Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller.
  • “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao.
  • “One Night in Miami,” Kemp Powers.
  • “The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani.

Who Will Win: If “The Father” is to win any award, I think it would be here. While “Nomadland” will likely win Picture and Director, I think the Academy will also honor “The Father” with this award.

Who Could Win: If not “The Father,” it will be “Nomadland.”

Who Should Win: As a fan of both, I’d be happy to see either “The Father” or “Nomadland” win. That shouldn’t discount “One Night in Miami,” though, which was also great.

Snubbed: “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.”

RIGHT: “The Father” earned the win.

Best Original Screenplay

  • “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Screenplay by Will Berson, and Shaka King. Story by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, and Keith Lucas.
  • “Minari,” Lee Isaac Chung.
  • “Promising Young Woman,” Emerald Fennell.
  • “Sound of Metal.” Screenplay by Darius Marder and Abraham Marder. Story by Darius Marder and Derek Cianfrance.
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin.

Who Will Win: “Promising Young Woman” is the front runner here and I think it’s likely going to win the award.

Courtesy Focus Features.

Who Could Win: There’s a small chance it could go to “Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Who Should Win: This is a good bunch for the category this year, but I would vote for “Promising Young Woman.”

Snubbed: I think I was in the minority on this one, but I thought “On The Rocks” was really good and Sofia Coppola should have been recognized for it. But, again, it was a stacked year.

RIGHT: “Promising Young Woman” won the screenplay award.

Best Original Song

  • “Fight for You,” “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas.
  • “Hear My Voice,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite.
  • “Húsavík,” “Eurovision Song Contest.” Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson
  • “Io Si (Seen),” “The Life Ahead.” Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini
  • “Speak Now,” “One Night in Miami.” Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

Who Will Win: “Speak Now.

Who Could Win: “Husavik.”

WRONG: “Fight for You” won the Oscar.

Best Original Score

  • “Da 5 Bloods,” Terence Blanchard.
  • “Mank,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross.
  • “Minari,” Emile Mosseri.
  • “News of the World,” James Newton Howard.
  • “Soul,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste.

Who Will Win: “Soul.”

Who Could Win: “Mank.”

Who Should Win: “Minari.”

RIGHT: “Soul” won the Oscar in this category.

Best Sound

  • “Greyhound,” Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David Wyman.
  • “Mank,” Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance and Drew Kunin.
  • “News of the World,” Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller and John Pritchett.
  • “Soul,” Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott and David Parker.
  • “Sound of Metal,” Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh.

Who Will Win: “Sound of Metal.”

Courtesy Amazon Studios.

Who Could Win: “Soul.”

Who Should Win: “Sound of Metal.”

RIGHT: “Sound of Metal” won the sound award.

Best Costume Design

  • “Emma,” Alexandra Byrne.
  • “Mank,” Trish Summerville.
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Ann Roth.
  • “Mulan,” Bina Daigeler.
  • “Pinocchio,” Massimo Cantini Parrini.

Who Will Win: “Emma.”

Who Could Win: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Who Should Win: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

WRONG: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom took home the Oscars here.

Best Animated Short Film

  • “Burrow.”
  • “Genius Loci.”
  • “If Anything Happens I Love You.”
  • “Opera.”
  • “Yes-People.”

Who Will Win: “If Anything Happens I Love You.”

Who Could Win: “Genius Loci.”

Who Should Win: “If Anything Happens I Love You,” although “Genius Loci” and “Burrow” were really good too.

RIGHT: “If Anything Happens I Love You” won the Oscar.

Best Live-Action Short Film

  • “Feeling Through.”
  • “The Letter Room.”
  • “The Present.”
  • “Two Distant Strangers.”
  • “White Eye.”

Who Will Win: “Two Distant Strangers.”

Who Could Win: “The Letter Room.”

Who Should Win: “The Present.”

RIGHT: “Two Distant Strangers” was victorious.

Best Cinematography

  • “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Sean Bobbitt.
  • “Mank,” Erik Messerschmidt.
  • “News of the World,” Dariusz Wolski.
  • “Nomadland,” Joshua James Richards.
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Phedon Papamichael.

Who Will Win: “Nomadland.”

Who Could Win: “Mank.”

Who Should Win: “Nomadland.”

WRONG: “Mank” took home the Oscar here.

Best Documentary Feature

  • “Collective,” Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana.
  • “Crip Camp,” Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder.
  • “The Mole Agent,” Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez.
  • “My Octopus Teacher,” Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster.
  • “Time,” Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino and Kellen Quinn.

Who Will Win: “My Octopus Teacher.”

Who Could Win: “Time.”

Who Should Win: “Collective.”

RIGHT: “My Octopus Teacher” earned the Oscar.

Best Documentary Short Subject

  • “Colette,” Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard.
  • “A Concerto Is a Conversation,” Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers.
  • “Do Not Split,” Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook
  • “Hunger Ward,” Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman.
  • “A Love Song for Latasha,” Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan.

Who Will Win: “A Concerto is a Conversation.”

Who Could Win: “A Love Song for Latasha.”

Who Should Win: “Do Not Split.”

WRONG: “Colette” won the award Sunday.

Best Film Editing

  • “The Father,” Yorgos Lamprinos.
  • “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao.
  • “Promising Young Woman,” Frédéric Thoraval.
  • “Sound of Metal,” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen.
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Alan Baumgarten.

Who Will Win: “Sound of Metal.”

Who Could Win: “Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Who Should Win: “Sound of Metal.”

Snubbed: “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.”

RIGHT: “Sound of Metal” won best editing Sunday.

Best International Feature Film

  • “Another Round,” Denmark.
  • “Better Days,” Hong Kong.
  • “Collective,” Romania.
  • “The Man Who Sold His Skin,” Tunisia.
  • “Quo Vadis, Aida?” Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Who Will Win: “Another Round.”

Who Could Win: “Quo Vadis, Aida?”

RIGHT: “Another Round” won the award.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • “Emma,” Marese Langan, Laura Allen, Claudia Stolze.
  • “Hillbilly Elegy,” Eryn Krueger Mekash, Patricia Dehaney, Matthew Mungle.
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson.
  • “Mank,” Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams, Colleen LaBaff.
  • “Pinocchio,” Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli, Francesco Pegoretti.

Who Will Win: ” Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Courtesy Netflix

Who Could Win” “Hillbilly Elegy.”

RIGHT: “Ma Rainey” picked up the win here. 

Best Production Design

  • “The Father.” Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone.
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton.
  • “Mank.” Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale.
  • “News of the World.” Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan.
  • “Tenet.” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas.

Who Will Win: “Mank.”

Who Could Win: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Who Should Win: “Mank.”

RIGHT: “Mank” won in this category.

Best Visual Effects

  • “Love and Monsters,” Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt and Brian Cox .
  • “The Midnight Sky,” Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon and David Watkins.
  • “Mulan,” Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury and Steve Ingram.
  • “The One and Only Ivan,” Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones and Santiago Colomo Martinez.
  • “Tenet,” Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher.

Who Will Win: “Tenet.”

Who Could Win: “The Midnight Sky.”

Who Should Win:” Tenet.”

Snubbed: “The Invisible Man.”

RIGHT: “Tenet” came out on top for visual effects.


Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: